Georgia College student’s late-night grub hub is educating freshmen

Georgia College student’s late-night grub hub is educating freshmen

I n January, junior business marketing major Justin Daffinson and co-founder Walker Petty, senior business management major, opened Milly Grub, a late-night dining spot open until 3 a.m.

The restaurant, located at 125 S Wayne Street in downtown Milledgeville, Georgia, serves simple-yet-hearty meals like nachos, hot dogs and potato bowls. They’re open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Now, business is booming. The eatery, alongside catering services, boasts 25 employees and several recurring customers. 

“My employees are the world to me—they’re my family,” Justin said. “And it makes me happy to know that people are happy to have a safe place to come and hang out, chill, listen to some music and eat a hot dog."

It makes me happy to know that people are happy to have a safe place to come and hang out, chill, listen to some music and eat a hot dog.
– Justin Daffinson

Daffinson has a hand in the running the place, sure, but now he can trust his brother, Josh Daffinson, freshmen business marketing major, with its management.

Justin and Petty have created a system for training their employees together. Justin, who handles scheduling, taxes and expansion, is translating his knowledge to Josh, who will take the helm once Justin graduates. 

“We try to spend as much time with our employees as we can at the beginning,” Justin said. “That way they know the standards for future employees. We want it to be a chain-reaction.”

This practice of employees-training-employees reaches all the way to the top at Milly Grub, since Justin hopes the restaurant will become a center of business education. 

“While Josh is managing, he’ll teach another manager who comes in as a freshman,” Justin said. “Just like any other restaurant, we’ll continue hiring skilled people to manage our restaurant successfully.”

In fact, his experience running Milly Grub has aided his education, Justin said. But, he also credits his education at Georgia College with helping his business succeed. 

“The basic principles of supply and demand, microeconomics and macroeconomics—all of that plays a role in the business world,” he said. “You have to know what you need to satisfy demand. It helps me a lot to know that I can rely on my education, not that I’m done, but what I’ve learned so far.”

Their logo, an orange, flame-engulfed grill atop their restaurant’s name was inspired by Associate Professor of Marketing, Dr. Whitney Ginders’ consumer behavior class. In it, Justin learned the importance of color theory in marketing, and that oranges and reds get people excited about food. 

“Once I graduate I’m going to run a business, and this is slowly teaching me how to properly do that,” he said. “This is setting me up for future success after my graduation. So, if you have a gut feeling, go chase it—don’t be afraid of failure.”